Attendance Policy

  • Attendance

    The Lorain City Schools’ Board of Education requires and encourages regular attendance and punctuality so that students may maximize their opportunity for learning. The State of Ohio requires that every child between the ages of six and eighteen attend a school, and the Lorain City Schools Board of Education requires every child of school age to attend school every day that school is in session unless the child is ill or has another legitimate reason for being absent.

    Punctuality Requirement / Tardy

    Getting to school on time and into the classroom with all other students significantly contributes to academic and social success and allows students to be part of the group. Teachers’ lesson plans even at the beginning of the day or session are carefully constructed to introduce new concepts or routines that are vital to student learning. Late arrivers interrupt precious instructional time and make it difficult for those arriving as well as those already seated to attend and stay focused at the task at hand. Missing even a few minutes can cause children to fall behind or feel left out. Most importantly, however, arriving on time impresses upon your child the importance of school and helps develop valuable habits and responsibilities that in the future will help them succeed both in school and the work place. Schools will develop interventions to address “Chronic” unexcused tardy’s. Acceptable reasons for tardiness are the same as those for absences. The interventions will include: student conference, parental contact, parent conference, detentions, In School Assignment (ISA), community service, and/or Level I and II disciplinary actions.


    Early Dismissal from School

    A student may receive an early dismissal from school for reasons of illness or emergency at home. The parent or guardian shall report to the office to pick up or arrange for the student to be picked up prior to an early dismissal being granted. A student is not allowed to leave school alone or without parental request for an early dismissal. All early dismissals are authorized through the principal’s office. Permission to leave school property may be granted by the principal or his/her designee. Students shall have the principal’s or his/her designee’s signature on a note before leaving the building. Students must never leave the building during their scheduled class hours without authorization from the principal’s office. [Ref: Policy JED] Attendance/Truancy The Lorain City Schools Board of Education requires and encourages regular attendance and punctuality so that students may maximize their opportunity for learning. The State of Ohio requires that every child between the ages of six and eighteen attend a school, and the Lorain City Schools Board of Education requires every child of school age to attend school every day that school is in session unless the child is ill or has another legitimate reason for being absent.

    Allowable Absences

    Students who are absent shall provide documentary and valid evidence to school officials that such absence was for one of the allowable reasons listed below. Students may, within a reasonable amount of time, make up any schoolwork missed as a result of an excused absence. The following reasons shall comprise legitimate reasons for absence:

    1. Personal illness (May require documentation from health officials)

    2. Family emergency (Written request from parent or guardian required)

    3. Religious holiday (Must be recognized as such by the State of Ohio)

    4. Court appearance (Documentation may be required)

    5. Death of a relative within two degrees of affinity and consanguinity or of a close friend.

    6. Other circumstances that are determined by the principal to lie within criteria established by the superintendent shall constitute a valid and acceptable cause for absence.

    Prohibited Absences

    An absence which does not fall within the six reasons defined as excused shall be considered unexcused, or as an absence without legitimate justification or purpose. The student shall be required to make up all work missed during the absence. The school administration will make the final decision whether an absence/tardy is excused or unexcused.

    In general, unexcused absences/tardies include (but are not limited to):

    • Missing the school bus.

    • Experiencing transportation problems at home or on the way to school.

    • Remaining at home to complete school assignments.

    • Missing school without legitimate illness.

    • Oversleeping. Alarm clock (students or parents) failed to work.

    • Not having suitable clothing to wear to school.

    • Working at a job during the school day without a proper work permit.

    • Babysitting.

    • Any form of recreation (unless pre-approved vacation days).

    • Personal business that can be done after school or on weekends.

    • Senior pictures/portraits or other class social activity.


    Notification of Absence

    When a student under the age of eighteen is absent from school for any reason, the student’s parent or guardian is required to telephone the school after school commences and provide the reason for the absence. In accordance with statute, if such a telephone call is not made, or the school is not otherwise informed, the school shall contact the parent/guardian to ascertain the reason for the student’s absence. Students over the age of 18 may telephone the school in their own behalf the morning of their initial absence.

    Extended Excused Absence

    If a student is absent or is expected to be absent from school for an extended period due to illness or injury the school shall be notified so that arrangements may be made for some form of home instruction, if available.

    Prearranged Absence

    When a student must be absent from school due to a family trip, college visitation, religious activity or some other requirement, arrangements shall be made with the school at least one week prior to the absence. Even though some of these absences may be considered as unexcused, make up work and class credit will be granted if appropriate contact is made with the school prior to the absence.

    Disciplinary Action for Habitual/Chronic Absence

    Upon the failure of the parent, guardian or other person having care of the student to cause the student’s attendance at school, if the student is deemed to be a habitual or chronic truant, the District is required to do either or both of the following:

    1. Take any appropriate action as an intervention strategy. The intervention strategy may include any or all of the following:

    a. Assigning the truant to an alternative school.

    b. Designing and providing a truancy intervention program.

    2. Filing a complaint with the proper juvenile court. If a complaint is filed, it shall allege that:

    a. The student is unruly for being a habitual or chronic truant, or is a delinquent student for being a habitual or chronic truant who previously has been adjudicated as an unruly student for being a habitual truant.

    b. The parent, guardian or other person having care of the student has violated state law.

    Recognition for Good Attendance

    Principals shall develop and implement a program to recognize and encourage good attendance in each building.

    Student and Parent Notification of Policy

    The Board directs that procedures be developed and implemented to insure that the above attendance policy is implemented uniformly in the school buildings. Each student and parent shall be informed annually of this policy and the procedures necessary to implement it.

    LEGAL REFS.: ORC 3321.12 all sections & ORC 4507.061


    District Attendance Intervention

    A. Recording Absences

    • Each teacher shall record and report the daily absences or tardiness of each student in his or her classes in a manner specified by the superintendent.

    • School secretaries shall accurately enter the excused and unexcused absences on a daily basis and report the information as directed by the superintendent.

    • Each school shall keep accurate and current student attendance records. These records shall be used to determine school attendance rates and be reported on the Ohio Department of Education’s District Report Card and on designated reporting forms or electronic media as directed by the superintendent.

    B. Attendance Monitoring

    • As a student’s absences approach the excessive level (5 or more days without legitimate excuse within a semester) an official designated by the superintendent shall send a warning letter to parents notifying them of the absences and of the consequences (outlined below) of continued chronic truancy and offering assistance with attendance issues.

    • Habitual Truancy is defined by the state of Ohio as a student missing 5 or more consecutive school days, seven or more days in a month or 12 or more days in a school year without a valid excuse.

    • Chronic Truancy is defined by the state of Ohio as a student missing 7 or more consecutive days of school, 10 or more school days in a single month or 15 or more school days in a school year.

    C. School District Attendance Interventions

    1. If a student’s accumulates more than 5 days of absence from school per semester no further absences will be excused unless a physician’s statement is submitted to justify the need for absence. An absence will be considered unexcused unless a written note, parental permission or a medical note (written by a licensed physician) is provided within 2 days of student return. The principal or their designee may waive this requirement as authorized approval of the superintendent or their designee.

    2. It is extremely important that students and parents realize and understand that the 5 days of absence per semester build into this attendance policy, are not considered as approved days to miss class. These should be thought of as a sick bank to be used only when needed.

    3. Absences, which are the result of illness, truancy, vacation, or family emergency, will be counted in this tally regardless whether the absences are excused or unexcused. External suspensions will not count in the 5 days limit per semester. Absences resulting from sponsored activities/functions such as field trips, assemblies, athletic contests, in-school suspensions, and mentorship programs will not count in this tally.

    4. Following the 5 day of absence per semester from school, parents will receive a warning letter from the school district. A notification letter will be sent from the building to parents warning them of irregular attendance, possible academic failure, and future referral to attendance officer for Lorain County Juvenile Court. This letter should clearly define the district’s attendance policy. This letter should indicate that after 5 days per semester medical verification is necessary.

    5. After five (5) days of unexcused absences from school, referral to that attendance officer may occur at the discretion of the county attendance officer and school district principal or their designee.

    6. A conference with the attendance officer of Lorain County, building principal/assistant principal, and the parent/guardian may be scheduled if excessive absences continue.

    7. Further excessive absences may result in a meeting with the superintendent or designee. Parent(s), student, county attendance officer, and building district designee may be present at the meeting.

    8. Continued irregular attendance at this step may result in other actions as determined by the local superintendent (i.e., revocation of driver license and work permit, parent education classes, intervention strategies, student reassignment to an alternative school, or other action as determined by the local code of student conduct).

    9. A court referral for prosecution will be the final step for action to be determined by the Department of Lorain County Juvenile Court. Participation in After School Activities

    • Students who are absent for any reason may not attend or participate in any after school activity, including athletic events, unless special arrangements have been made with the school principal. Age and Schooling Certificate and Temporary Permit

    • Age and Schooling Certificates (Work Permit) and Temporary Instruction Permit or Driver’s License may be revoked in order to encourage regular school attendance by a school official Approved: August 13, 2013


     Exclusions and Exemptions from School Attendance

    A child of compulsory school age residing in the Lorain City School District may be legally excused from public school attendance by:

    1. Holding a full-time Age and Schooling Certificate and having a full time job.

    2. Receiving approved home instruction.

    3. Attending a private or parochial school.

    4. Having graduated from an approved high school.

    5. Having a GED certificate or pursuing there of.

    6. Receiving approved Home Education. [Ref: Policy JEG]


    Student Dismissal

    Precautions Permission for a pupil to leave school when school is in session, if requested by a parent/guardian, will require approval by the principal or his/her designee. Release of a student to a non-custodial parent will be granted only after consent from the custodial parent or a court order has been received by the principal or his/her designee. Independent students may sign for themselves. [Ref: Policy JEDB]


    Student Promotion/Retention

    The promotion of each K-8 student will be determined individually and should take into consideration the following factors: attendance, age, standards met, assessment results, and assignment to special programs as measured by valid and reliable tests or other measures. The decision to assign a student is made only after careful study and evaluation. The decision to promote or assign a student demands continuous analysis and study of the student’s cumulative records so that objective decisions are made. Upon determination, a student must adhere to the district’s regulations and recommendations regarding student assignment. Parental involvement in promotion or assignment of a student is important and essential. Parental requests for student assignment contrary to the district's recommendations shall result in an alternative placement of the student and/or other programs. The superintendent has the right to assignment of students.

    [Adoption date: December 9, 1991; Revised July 28, 2003, Revised May 27, 2009] Legal Reference: OAC 3301-35-02


    High School Grade Forgiveness

    Any high school student within Lorain City Schools may repeat a course once and have the lower of the two grades dropped from the computation of the grade point average (GPA). Both grades shall remain on the student's transcript. The higher grade of the two will have credit attached for graduation. It is the responsibility of the parent(s) and student to find a comparable course. Parents must comply with the district regulations, exceptions will be granted only at the discretion of the district.